Points to Ponder: Can You Be Sad and Joyful?

Points to Ponder
Can You Be Sad and Joyful?
By Pastor Whitmore
Weekly Contributing Writer

Deeply sad. Deeply joyful. How can these two seemingly contrasting concepts burn within the same soul?
If you measure your happiness according to what's happening, you will ride a roller coaster of ups and downs in emotions. And isn't it interesting how some people will dwell on a handful of unhappy experiences and downplay (or downright forget) the many happy ones? On the other hand, some people have survived tragedies, hardships, and a countless number of sad times; yet these will smile and dwell on the bright spots and the happy moments of life.
While one person is deeply sad, another with similar life experiences is deeply joyful. And yet one can be both.
Perhaps it is the true measure of spiritual maturity and rootedness in relationship with the Lord.
"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving." (Colossians 2:6-7)
You can be rooted and established in the faith and yet find yourself deeply sad at times. And, because the roots go deep in the soul of the one who is walking with the Lord, it is also possible to be deeply joyful. The scripture teaches that as you have received Christ so walk in Him and abound in that walk with thanksgiving. One mark of spiritual maturity is to be sad and yet heartily thankful in the midst of it.
Deeply sad. Deeply joyful.
This is my reflection, just 48 hours after my mother died of cancer. I have much more growing up to do and will likely be dead myself long before I am done. But the profound pairing of these two contrasting thoughts takes me back and brings me forward; a new appreciation of this moment in time.
The deep sadness is a heavy sigh. It comes as I review Mom's final years with a better perspective on how much she missed. She had many unrealized hopes and shattered dreams in life. She grieved my father's death so much that she couldn't see all that was still alive around her. I resented that; and I regret that my resentment overcame the empathy I could have and should have shown. She died ten years ago when Dad did. Her body just caught up with her. That makes me sense a deep sadness for her, for me, and for my children.
On the other hand, I am deeply joyful because I know where she went. When I had to tell Mom that indeed she was going to die soon, she cried about all the earthly things she would not live to see; graduations, weddings, special occasions yet to come - then she touched my face and said with tears, "I'm going to miss you." I smiled and silently thought, "No, you're not." I reflected upon Paul's words:
"So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord...We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:6 and 8).
No matter how good things may seem during our brief time on earth, it only gets better when it's time to go Home.
"Jesus said..., 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?'" (John 11:25-26)
She did. I do. Therefore, I can be deeply sad and deeply joyful. And it's okay.

Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring. Listen to Rev. Whitmore on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs at 10:45 a.m. & p.m. & Wed at 10:45 a.m. www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com.